I posted my Bettor’s Guide for the Wild Card round of the NFL Playoffs earlier this week. This post updates the information for today’s games – Houston v Cincinnati and Detroit v New Orleans – including the latest spreads, the announcers, and the TV schedule.
Cincinnati Bengals at Houston Texans
- Bengals-Texans Date, Time, and TV: Saturday, January 7th at 4:30 on NBC
- Bengals-Texans Announcers: Tom Hammond, Mike Mayock, and Alex Flanagan
- Bengals-Texans Point Spread: Texans -4 (up from -3 earlier in the week)
- Bengals-Texans Over-Under: 39
- Bengals-Texans Spread Pick: I know that the trendy pick here will be Cincinnati because they have the hot young studs in AJ Green and Andy Dalton while the Texans are a mess at QB and have dealt with injuries all year. I’m still picking the Texans though, mainly because they are at home. Houston fans have been waiting for this moment ever since pro football came back to the city. While I don’t think NFL fans can will a team to victory like fans can in college basketball, if there is any place in the NFL that could do it, it would be partisans in Reliant Stadium on Saturday afternoon. Houston still has an effective ground game, plus Andre Johnson back to keep defenses honest. The return of Wade Phillips will also help the defense, as it did in Week 17. And Cincinnati, as exciting as they are with their young talent, still has a lot of young talent in key positions. Their time will come, I think; it just won’t be this day. Bengals-Texans free pick: Texans -4 (No change in my pick, as Andy Dalton’s bout with the flu this week has me even more worried about how he will play.)
- MSF: Bengals-Texans Preview and Prediction
Detroit Lions at New Orleans Saints
- Lions-Saints Date, Time, and TV: Saturday, January 7th at 8:00 on NBC
- Lions-Saints Announcers: Al Michaels, Cris Collinsworth, Michele Tafoya
- Lions-Saints Point Spread: Saints -10.5 (same as earlier in the week)
- Lions-Saints Over-Under: 58.5
- Lions-Saints Spread Pick: TAKE THE OVER!!! That’s my pick. Though, I have to say, now that everyone is commenting on how attractive the over is, I’m starting to think this might be one of those games that defies expectation and becomes lower scoring than we think. … Ah hell, what am I saying, not a chance. Drew Brees and Matthew Stafford are going to be directing a spectacular fireworks show on Saturday, and it will make this the most entertaining game of the weekend. I just don’t think it will be particularly close. Atlanta always plays the Saints tough, yet New Orleans throttled them two weeks ago on MNF. Last week, the Saints throttled a Carolina team that had been playing much better football of late. If Detroit couldn’t be the Packers with Matt Flynn at QB and no Greg Jennings, what makes us think they can compete in New Orleans against Drew Brees and a healthy complement of weapons? Regardless though, congrats to the Lions for making it this far. Even with a loss Saturday, this season is an unequivocal victory for Detroit. Lions-Saints free pick: Saints -10.5
We should have a Saints-Lions preview up later on in the day.